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What is indecent exposure in Maryland?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2023 | criminal defense |

Maryland law defines indecent exposure as the intentional exposure of one’s genitals in a public place, or in the presence of another person who is not one’s spouse. Essentially, if the exposure of someone’s body part is done in a way that can be casually observed by others, you might charged with indecent exposure under Maryland law.

Examples of indecent exposure in Maryland include:

  • Public urination or defecation
  • Flashing or streaking
  • Masturbation in public
  • Sexual acts in public
  • Mooning

What is not regarded as indecent exposure in Maryland

Mothers who breastfeed their children in public may be accused of indecent exposure. However, breastfeeding in public is allowed under Maryland law, so it might be easier to defend against this type of indecent exposure complaint rather than other types of claims of indecent exposure.

Nudity in private residences or wardrobe problems can also be dismissed depending on the evidence and testimony that is presented.

An Ocean City indecent exposure attorney can provide more details.

Other requirements

The indecent exposure must also have occurred in a public area. Witnesses who have observed the indecent exposure don’t have to be present in the actual area where the exposure occurred.

The elements of indecent exposure under Maryland law include:

  • a public exposure
  • made willfully and intentionally, as opposed to inadvertently or accidentally
  • which was observed, or was likely to have been observed, by one or more persons, as opposed to performed in secret, or hidden from the view of others.

There is not an additional element of indecent exposure requiring that a viewer be shocked and/or offended by the exposure.

Defendants facing Maryland indecent exposure charges generally must prove that the indecent exposure act did not happen and the action was not committed in public.

Penalties for indecent exposure

The penalties for indecent exposure under Maryland law, include:

  • Up to three years of jail time and
  • A fine up to $1,000 and
  • Possible registration as a sex offender

Indecent exposure is considered a misdemeanor in Maryland. While seemingly not as serious as other types of sex crimes, such charges should not be ignored because a conviction can require you to register as a sex offender. Registering as a sex offender can have serious consequences on employment and housing.

If you are facing indecent exposure charges, an Ocean City indecent exposure lawyer can help. The attorneys at Maronick Law LLC have experience with Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh indecent exposure matters.

Maronick Law LLC is open during the pandemic and continues to meet your legal needs. We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact the law office at 410-881-4022 or via our website for a free consultation.



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